I just finished reading Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. This is a middle reader chapter book written by Karen Foxlee. My oldest daughter actually read this book a couple of weeks ago for her homework reading log, but I had other books on my list, and I didn’t get around to reading it until now. I’m so glad that I did.
Ophelia is a shy girl who wears glasses and carries a puffer. She is not very boisterous, and she does not consider herself to be very brave. Ophelia has come to a snowy foreign city with her father and sister so that her father can assemble a special display of swords in a museum full of curious collections. The entire family is still processing the loss of Ophelia’s mother, which occurred three months before the events of the book.
While exploring the museum, Ophelia stumbles across the Marvelous Boy, who has been locked in a room for hundreds of years. The Marvelous Boy has been ordained by the wizards as the only one who can stop the Snow Queen. But the Snow Queen is the one who has captured him and hidden him away, where no one can find him. When Ophelia stumbles upon his prison, the Marvelous Boy’s time is running out.
Ophelia relies heavily on science, and often refers back to her Children’s Science Society of Greater London when she encounters fantastic things. And she does encounter fantastic things on her quest through the museum to help the Marvelous Boy; these misery birds and ghosts cannot be explained by science.
The Marvelous Boy is a nice foil for Ophelia. He believes in magic because his entire life has been magical ever since he was plucked from his village by the wizards and tasked with an impossible quest. He owes his entire existence to magic, and his faith in Ophelia never wavers, even when she does not know if she can accomplish what he has asked her to do.
Foxlee uses an engaging writing style that drew me into the story after the first sentence. The story unfolds in a logical and predictable way, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. Ophelia learns a lot about herself during the book, and discovers strength and bravery that she didn’t know she possessed.
There are some scary elements in this book. Ophelia encounters some ghost girls who had their lives sucked away by the Snow Queen. There are also scary misery birds, and museum things that come to life. My daughter can be a little skittish, but she didn’t seem frightened by anything that she read. I do feel that it is worth mentioning to parents who might be looking for a book for their children.
I would absolutely recommend Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy. We have to return our copy to the library, but I am definitely going to keep my eye out for a Kindle book sale. If I bought every book that I loved, there would be no money for groceries! If you’d like to find out more about this book, you can do so here: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy